Monday, October 8, 2012

BUCKET SEATS {Coffee & a Clever Idea}

I was thisclose to hopping on board with the "crate seat craze of 2011." 

You know what I'm talking about.

I resisted because since they seemed too low when I had my (then) 5 year old sit on a crate at Target, I figured they would be too low for my thirdsters. 

Instead I took the easy (although a bit pricey) way out and simply bought storage cubes. I love them and they are going strong in year two.

However, I think these are so cool and I see them in my future. I love that they can be spray painted any color and the world is your oyster when it comes to fabric selection. I heart custom classrooms.

Also, they would be cheap to make...and possibly easy. I think that may be up for discussion though.

If you decide to try these, please call the manager at Home Depot or Lowe's before going in and buying the buckets. Both stores are often VERY willing to donate to classrooms.

I would love to hear from anyone who made the crate seats last summer. Did they meet your expectations?
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  1. I made the crate seats this summer and I absolutely LOVE them!!!!! I love that I can change out the fabric to satisfy my ever changing classroom decor. They are actually the perfect size for my 3rd graders. I have regular chairs at my small group table so students use the crates for seating during D5. They also make great extra storage. Anywho...that's just my take on them. your blog & all the cute stuff you make! :)

  2. I made crate seats for my Kinders last summer, so this is the second year we've used them! I use them at our 4 computers, because the tables are a little lower there. Right now the crate seats are housing all my extra math manipulatives that come with our math easy peasy to go and pull out what I need! However, after a potty accident recently, it looks like I will be heading to the fabric store to pick out new fabric & foam for one of my seats!! LOL that's the only downside I think---not being able to just disinfect and wipe them clean! :-)

    K is for Kinderrific

  3. I made crate seats for my 2nd graders last year but still use them for my 4th/5th graders. They are too low to sit at our reading table but I have them under our ledge and the kids LOVE to sit there for Work on Writing and even beg me to hold conferences there just so they can sit on the crates :)

  4. We used to make something similar for girl scouts, we called them sit - a -cans. We collected empty 4.5 gallon or 5 gallon joint compound containers or plaster containers from local businesses. We kept the lid and put the a cushion and some fabric over the lid. Then we decorated the sides. It was great because we could store things inside them too! Never thought about trying them out in the classroom though!!

  5. You can also get buckets donated from the Wal-Mart bakery! They get icing shipped in them- and they just toss them when they are finished. So, if you ask them to save some for you- they totally will!! They also come with lids which are great for storing things you use in the sensory table!!

    Let's Teach Something

  6. I made crate seats last year for my second graders. LOVE THEM! They are still going strong now that I teach fourth grade, too. The kids just like to sit on things that aren't chairs.

    I opted not to cover the seats in fabric since we get in trouble with our fire inspectors over just about any use of untreated fabric in the classroom. Instead I invested in cabinet-grade plywood which was very smooth. One big sheet made at least 12 crate seats with wood to spare. After cutting and finishing the wood, it's just beautiful. The seats go super well with my camping theme, and they double as low desks for kids who would like to sit on the floor and use them to play games or do some writing. Win-win.

    My new classroom was low on chairs, so we're using the crates around our group table. The custodians were nice enough to lower the table so the seats work perfectly.


    I made the bucket stools this summer. They are working GREAT for my kindergarteners! :)

  8. Love these since I have older kiddos and some aren't lightweight. I could see making a seat cover that could go on like a stool seat cover with elastic then they would be easy to throw in the wash. In the desert everything gets dirty real quick!

  9. Many of the teachers in my school made the crate seats last summer. We are a Pres-Grade 1 school so our tables are already low. I loved the additional storage they offered. My principal thought that they were a great idea. Then......people from the district office came through and told us that we had to get rid of them because they had not been safety tested. They believed that a student might be able to break it. I told them that my son is over 6'3" and weighs over 300 lbs. He sat on them and didn't break them.That wasn't good enough for them. Mind you, a few years ago I had a student slide through the back of a regular student chair and get stuck. We had to take the chair apartto rescue him. Over the years I've had student chairs fall apart when the welding on the legs didn't hold. The chair collapsed when the student sat on it.
    I used the smaller locker size crates and 3/4" plywood. They were very sturdy. You could buy vinyl to cover them so in case a student had an accident, you could disinfect it. I think JoAnn Fabrics has the flame retardant spray to spray on untreated fabrics if you want to use fabric.
    My vote is for the crate seats.
    I love your blog. I get your e-mails. You share very helpful ideas. You do a great job. I appreciate it.

  10. WOW! What a great idea. I have not seen the bucket seat idea. The crates, yes. I'm wondering how to get the fabric and stuffing on the top though. Do you need a wooden circle to stretch it over?

  11. I made the crate seats and love them. My students use them daily. They range in ages from 5-10. They are all still comfortable on the crates and the crates are holding up really well.

  12. I made the crate seats last summer and LOVE them. I have six seats that sit around my table from IKEA. It is low as well and works great. They are super sturdy as I have a kid who keeps standing on them and parents sit on them all the time. I love the extra storage for all my listening center kits. I used oilcloth to cover them with, so they wipe of easily

  13. I made some this past summer and have been enjoying them... I made them a bit differently, as I used real milk crates instead of the filing crates--so the plywood didn't fit inside the seat. Instead, I used zip-ties to make hinges, used easy, wipe-off table-cloth-like fabric, and then used colored duck tape to cover the wooden area underneath and the zip-ties after I cut them. I don't think the table cloth material is as strong though; a student noticed a rip in it last week, so they haven't even made it through a quarter of the school year. :/ They took a pretty long time to make, too. :/ Let us know how the bucket seats work out! :o)

  14. I made the crate seats, too. The kids think they are just the best chairs in the world. I put a ribbon on them to help me easily open them up and the ribbon is looking pretty stretched out because the kids keep touching and pulling on it. Other than that flaw they were totally worth making! I have them alongside my carpet area and store materials used on the carpet or frequently used math manipulatives (a bunch of rekenreks fill a couple, and my number talk cards are filed in another) inside them.

  15. I really love the bucket seat ideas because I just happen to have some extra five-gallon buckets around (seriously, I do...)! What a great way to store things, keep student interest and reuse already available materials. My buckets are white, and it just so happens that I picked up some red and white polka-dot fabric at a yard sale recently (since that is what we do down here in the south during the summer/fall). Thanks for the idea!


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